"If it has to be, it is up to me": A multi-level approach to social entrepreneurial efforts

Brigitte Hoogendoorn, Peter van der Zwan, Roy Thurik

Research output: Book/Report/Inaugural speech/Farewell speechReportAcademic


The objective of this study is to develop a better understanding of the factors that influence the allocation of entrepreneurial efforts toward addressing societal needs. Using a social cognitive framework and a multilevel empirical research approach, we investigate the interaction between an entrepreneur’s drive to address unmet social needs, their personal characteristics, and the environment. We test our individual-level and country-level hypotheses using a dataset (the Flash Eurobarometer survey on Entrepreneurship, no. 283) with information for more than 7,000 business owners in 34 countries. It turns out that the degree to which an entrepreneur addresses unmet social needs depends on their personality and the environment in terms of the national configurations of institutions. Other aspects of the environment including the presence of a socially supportive culture and the degree of urbanization play important roles through their interactions with several aspects of an individual’s personality. Hence, without certain personality traits, the environmental aspects do not necessarily lead to a higher inclination to address unmet social needs among business owners.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationZoetermeer
Number of pages27
EditionResearch Report H201303
Publication statusPublished - 2013

Research programs

  • EUR ESE 30


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